News Wire Digest Second Section for Thursday, Feb. 13

Another major jury award in 'Amtrak Cascades' wreck; ruling requires unions to negotiate on crew size; and more
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A jury has awarded more than $10 million to a passenger injured in the December 2017 derailment of an 'Amtrak Cascades' train in DuPont, Wash.
Steve Carter

More Thursday morning rail news:

— In the latest trial stemming from the fatal December 2017 crash of an Amtrak Cascades train at DuPont, Wash., a jury has awarded a passenger more then $10 million for injuries suffered in the derail. The Tacoma News-Tribune reports Donnell Linton, 47, of Renton, Wash., suffered fractures to his face, shoulder, and ribs and is still receiving treatment, his attorney said. In November, one woman received a $4.5 million award [see “Jury awards $4.5 million to woman injured in Cascades wreck,” Trains News Wire, Nov. 14, 2019] while two accident victims, and the spouse of one victim, received $16.75 million in an earlier trial [see “Jury awards millions of dollars in damages to passengers injured in 2017 Cascades wreck,” Trains News Wire, Sept. 16, 2019].


— A federal court has issued an order requiring the union representing train conductors to hold negotiations with freight railroads over crew size, the National Railway Labor Conference – a group representing major railroads — said in a press release. The order is in response to a suit filed in October in the U.S. District Court for the North District of Texas against the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, Transportation Division (SMART-TD). The ruling “allows for serious discussions over all aspects of crew staffing,” NRLC chairman Brendan Branon said in the press release.


— Canadian Pacific has joined Canadian National in restricting movements of hazardous materials, following the Canadian government’s edict placing speed restrictions on trains with 20 or more cars of such materials. The Canadian Press reports that CP advised customers that it would limit permits for the movement of hazardous materials on Sunday, and that the restrictions took effect Wednesday. “We do not take these measures lightly and while it is too soon to quantify the impact, these actions are necessary given the multitude of variables and interdependencies involved in network operations,” John Brooks, CP’s chief marketing officer, said in a memo to shippers.


— Transport Canada said the section of track where a Canadian Pacific oil train derailed last week had been inspected three times in the last year, the CBC reports, and two of the inspections found “minor non-compliances,” the agency said, without elaborating. The third, on Jan. 29, found “no instances of non-compliance.” The derailment near Guernsey, Saskatchewan, led to the Canadian government’s edict on trains carrying hazardous materials [see “Canadian government orders speed restrictions for trains with hazardous materials,” Trains News Wire, Feb. 6, 2020.]


Four people, including a pedestrian, were critically injured when a Metra train stuck a vehicle at a grade crossing on Chicago’s Southwest Side on Wednesday. The accident involving SouthWest Service train No. 833 occurred about 7:30 p.m. when the train struck the vehicle, which then hit a person nearby, the Chicago Sun-Times reports



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